'''Ota Benga''' (
[Bradford and Blume (1992), p. 54.]
– March 20, 1916) was a Democratic Republic of the Congo|Congolese
man, a ''Mbuti people|Mbuti
'' Pygmy peoples|pygmy
known for being featured in an anthropology exhibit at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
in St. Louis, Missouri
in 1904, and in a human zoo
exhibit in 1906 at the Bronx Zoo
. Benga had been purchased from African slave traders by the explorer Samuel Phillips Verner, a businessman hunting Africans for the Exposition.
He traveled with Verner to the United States. At the Bronx Zoo, Benga had free run of the grounds before and after he was exhibited in the zoo's Monkey House. Except for a brief visit with Verner to Africa after the close of the St. Louis Fair, Benga lived in the United States, mostly in Virginia, for the rest of his life.
Displays of non-white humans as examples of "earlier stages" of human evolution
were common in the...